Why Is Reading Good for Our Wellbeing?

Why Is Reading Good for Our Wellbeing?

Reading is one of the Wellbeing Hive’s daily habits – an activity we recommend you practice each day to maintain your wellbeing.

And why is this so?

If we wanted to talk about reading and learning and the benefits of reading in this sense,  – this would be a short article, largely because everyone would agree that reading has powerful benefits for the mind including:

  • Helping people to learn to focus
  • Assisting in positive attitudes towards learning
  • Staving off the impact of aging on the brain
  • Improving vocabulary, sentence structure and logical thinking
  • Exposure to new ideas outside of our own experience

But why is reading good for your wellbeing?

A simple answer is that reading is mindful – reading provides you with quiet time to sit and be reflective in a busy world. Reading can be a haven like that – an escape from the loud noises of life.  It can also assist us all to escape for even just a few minutes from screens (I still prefer an old-fashioned book than a reading app, and my eyes definitely thank me for it) – and this is why it is a great habit to form before bedtime.  Now, reading signifies for me that it is almost time to go to sleep.

It can also – for many of us – be a genuine pleasure.

While this is a valid answer it is not the only one.

Studies have shown that readers are more likely to experience positive emotions.  That if we choose reading that inspires us, we can use this to help us maintain mental and emotional equilibrium.

Now this is a powerful recognition, and one you should keep in mind next time you are in a bad mood – and certainly next time you choose a book.  Is your reading material helping you experience positive emotions? Can a well-chosen book change the outlook of your day?  Your week?  Could a good read be the antidote to “one of those days”?

Secondly, reading can help us develop resilience.  Through the examples of characters and real-life stories, readers get to experience vicariously the solving of challenges and this helps them internalize more strategies for solving problems in their own lives.  You could call it… inspiration of a kind.  Readers end up with more emotional resources by being exposed to more problem scenarios and their solutions.

This is connected to the third reason – the development of empathy. Empathy is the capacity to feel for others – to understand their reactions. Empathy is an important element of having positive relationships with others – and readers use their empathy continually throughout their book journeys.  That empathy assists them to be more emotionally balanced when interacting with others – and perhaps helps them balance their own emotions when needed.

On a grander scale, reading about people with different experiences than us – whether it be different cultures, different abilities, different sexual preferences and different world views can help us to be more accepting of difference in general.  So therefore reading makes the world a better place – and arguably us better people!

Want to read more about it? Check out the articles below:

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/14-reasons-why-reading-is-good-for-your-health-2016-12?r=US&IR=T

https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-reading-books#takeaway

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/02/can-reading-improve-your-wellbeing/

 

And if this interests you, why not read more about Bibliotherapy – the practice of selecting, reading and discussing books to help with psychological issues.  Maybe we are diagnosing and healing ourselves with our reading material!  Check more out here: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-bibliotherapy-4687157

 

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